For countless families worldwide, cookies define holiday tradition. We wanted to know which ones are an indispensable part of holiday celebrations here in the West, so last year we asked. Readers responded from every part of the West, sending us hundreds of their favorite recipes ― cookies that they, their relatives, or friends had created.
They gave us cookies as diverse as the West itself, reflecting influences from Europe, Asia, and Central and South America. One reader remembers making bizcochitos with her mother in Santa Fe; another had obtained a recipe for Chinese almond cookies from her husband's shipmate in World War II.
But in true Western fashion, some of the recipes we received weren't old family traditions at all but thoroughly modern innovations.
We offer you 20 of our favorites here, hoping they'll become part of your own holiday tradition.